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STATUS QUO “REPUBLICAN” ADVANCES …

North Carolina Speaker of the House Thom Tillis – a fiscally liberally “Republican” backed by the national GOP establishment – dispatched seven challengers on Tuesday to claim his party’s nomination in the fight against vulnerable incumbent U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Tillis received 222,238 votes – or 45.7 percent of the GOP primary electorate (under North Carolina law, any candidate receiving more than 40 percent of the vote does not have to participate in a runoff election).

Tillis’ closest competitor was physician Greg Brannon – who received the support of fiscal conservatives in the U.S. Senate like Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) and Mike Lee (R-Utah). Brannon finished with 132,013 voters – or 27.1 percent of the electorate. Mark Harris, a pastor from Charlotte, N.C., received 85,393 voters (17.6 percent).

On the Democratic side, Hagan received 369,331 votes – cruising to the Democratic nomination with 77.2 percent of the vote.

In his victory speech, Tillis took aim at Hagan for her support of U.S. President Barack Obama.

“For six years, she’s voted with Obama and against North Carolina,” he said.

Sure … but so have a lot of “Republicans.”

In fact as far as we’re concerned, North Carolina’s primary results highlight the futility of trying to achieve pro-free market, pro-freedom reform from within the GOP. It’s abundantly clear those views will only be sandwiched between those of fiscal liberals and social conservatives.

Supports of limited government need to start looking outside of the failed two-party system for votes.

Speaking of … for those of you keeping score at home only one million out of North Carolina’s 6.5 million registered voters (or 15.7 percent) cast ballots in Tuesday’s election (including only 486,411 voters in the contested “Republican” primary). In 2008, 1.8 million voters showed up – including 1.3 million who cast ballots in the contested Democratic primary.

Translation? There are a lot of people out there not buying what the two parties are selling …